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The 10 Best Small Cities for Remote Workers in the Northeast

Gorgeous coasts, unbeatable seafood, and a rich colonial history: the American Northeast has enough “pull” factors for everyone. With beautiful scenery and great Internet access, these tiny towns and small cities are perfect for any remote worker looking to make the most of their off-work hours.

C. Tarantino

June 17, 2022

Most Americans are familiar with New York City and Boston, but the Northeast has more to offer than just big city life. Many of the towns and small cities in and around New England offer a unique balance of entertainment, outdoor recreation, and coastal beauty.

Thanks to the switch to remote work, traveling and moving to the Northeast is easier than ever before. According to the Pew Research Center, of the American workers eligible to work remotely, 59% teleworked nearly every workday in January 2022, and an additional 18% worked remotely for some part of the work week.

Tourist or transplant, these are the best small cities and towns for remote workers in the Northeast.

Methodology

To find some of the hidden gems of the Northeast, we focused on cities that excel at providing what’s most important to remote workers: a high quality of life, beautiful scenery, affordability, and, most importantly, high-speed internet.

We used BroadbandNow’s open-source, location-specific internet data to first find zip codes and cities that had multiple internet service providers with high-speed internet plans. Then, we used fair market rent data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to evaluate the affordability of our highest-speed cities.

Once we had our shortlist, we compared livability factors—including nearby entertainment, access to natural areas, and aesthetic beauty—and made our top picks.

Bristol, Connecticut
Bristol, Conneticut

"Bristol, Connecticut" by Doug Kerr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

  • Population: 60,800
  • Location: Central CT, just west of Hartford
  • Best Outdoor Attraction: Hoppers Birge Pond Nature Preserve
  • Best Indoor Attraction: Lake Compunce Amusement Park
  • Best Neighborhood Food: Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Bristol is a small art community located in the heart of Connecticut. Residents spend their weeknights drinking at local breweries and enjoying spicy buffalo chicken (in wraps, pizzas, salads…and more!) at nearby diners. Weekends are great for hiking or canoeing at Hoppers Birge, taking part in a community finger painting festival, or visiting the United States’ oldest amusement park.

Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington Riverfront

"Wilmington Riverfront” by likeaduck is licensed under CC BY 2.0

  • Population: 70,000
  • Location: Northernmost point of Delaware, just south of Pennsylvania
  • Best Outdoor Attraction: Wilmington Riverwalk
  • Best Indoor Attraction: Nemours Estate
  • Best Neighborhood Food: Slippery dumplings

Founded in 1638, Wilmington is a contemporary New England beach town sporting a rich history. You’ll find tourists visiting the city’s larger-than-life historical monuments, including Nemours Estate—a 77-room private mansion turned living museum—and the music-filled Grand Opera House. While tourists have plenty to keep them occupied for a two- or three- day visit, permanent residents prefer to spend their days lounging on Wilmington’s sand beaches and eating fresh seafood from one of the many gastropubs in the city.

York, Maine
Nubble Lighthouse

Nubble Lighthouse” by Mark Bonica is licensed under CC BY 2.0

  • Population: 13,700
  • Location: Southeastern coast of Maine
  • Best Outdoor Attraction: Cape Neddick Nubble Lighthouse
  • Best Indoor Attraction: Granite State Growler Tour
  • Best Neighborhood Food: Fresh Maine lobster

If you Google “New England,” chances are you’ll be greeted with an image of a cute, red-roofed home adorned by a mighty lighthouse. This iconic image is the Cape Neddick Nubble Lighthouse, York’s pride and joy. York is a nature lover’s dream: beautiful coastal views, soft sandy beaches, and challenging mountain hikes. The locals tend to spend their time outside, either deep-sea fishing or swimming in the ocean during summertime.

Marlborough, Massachusetts
Lake Williams, Marlborough

Lake Williams, Marlborough” by Massachusetts Office Of Travel & Tourism is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

  • Population: 41,800
  • Location: Central Massachusetts, tucked between Boston and Worcester
  • Best Outdoor Attraction: Assabet River Rail Trail and Bike Path
  • Best Indoor Attraction: Wayside Country Store and Old Tyme Candy Store
  • Best Neighborhood Food: Fried clam bellies

Marlborough's location can’t be beat. Settled between Worcester and Boston, Marlborough acts as New England's business and entertainment hub. Marlborough’s entertainment options rival those of a major metropolitan city, featuring sports venues, shopping malls, street festivals, and top-of-the-line seafood restaurants. Outdoors enthusiasts can cycle along the Assabet River Trail, catch some rays along the World War II Memorial Beach, or go for a snowy hike in the Memorial Forest Reservation known as “The Desert.”

Dover, New Hampshire
Dover Public Library

Dover Public Library” by Kimberly Vardeman is licensed under CC BY 2.0

  • Population: 32,800
  • Location: Coastal New Hampshire, nestled between Somersworth and Portsmouth
  • Best Outdoor Attraction: Bellamy River Wildlife Management Area
  • Best Indoor Attraction: Tendercrop Farm
  • Best Neighborhood Food: Poutine

Sleepy and safe, Dover is the comfort food city of New England, both literally and metaphorically. The entire city center feels like a carefree European town: the beautiful Coheco River bisects Dover’s city center, residents spend their days relaxing in the riverside parks, and the local seafood is always caught fresh. Spend a cold winter night tucked away with a cozy plateful of poutine, or cool off on a blustery summer afternoon with a locally-brewed dark ale.

Long Branch, New Jersey

Atlantic Ocean, Long Branch, New Jersey” by Ken Lund is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

  • Population: 31,661
  • Location: Northeastern coast of New Jersey, across the bay from Brooklyn, NY
  • Best Outdoor Attraction: Jersey Shore
  • Best Indoor Attraction: Spa at Ocean Place
  • Best Neighborhood Food: Hoagies

Many of the towns on our list are quiet and subtle, but Long Branch is made for the extroverts among us. A proud stop along the Jersey Shore, Long Branch is home to its fair share of beach parties, dance clubs, and tiki bars. In addition to its nightlife scene, Long Branch also has a slower, more subdued side. Residents can spend their time playing volleyball, boating, or cycling in and along the Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park.

Catskill, New York
Catskill, New York

Catskill, New York” by Doug Kerr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

  • Population: 11,300
  • Location: Eastern New York, just south of Albany
  • Best Outdoor Attraction: Hudson River Skywalk
  • Best Indoor Attraction: Rip Van Winkle Brewing Company
  • Best Neighborhood Food: “Michigans”-style hotdogs

One peek at the Kaaterskill Falls and you’ll understand what makes the Catskill Mountains and its titular village so legendary. Catskill is popular with mountaineers, skiers and snowboarders, and serious hikers. The less adventurous prefer to grab a local beer from the Rip Van Winkle Brewing Company, catch a performance at the Lumberyard Contemporary Performing Arts venue, or see a blockbuster at the town’s premier movie theater.

Easton City, Pennsylvania
Easton, Pennsylvania

Easton, Pennsylvania” by Doug Kerr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

  • Population: 28,000
  • Location: Eastern border of Pennsylvania, east of Allentown
  • Best Outdoor Attraction: Karl Stirner Arts Trail
  • Best Indoor Attraction: Easton Farmers Market
  • Best Neighborhood Food: Shoo-fly Pie

Turn any corner in Easton, and you’ll make a historical discovery that reaches way into our nation’s historical roots. Founded in 1752, Easton is the home of many firsts: the first high school football rivalry, the first Crayola factory, and (plausibly) the first draft of the American flag’s design. To balance out its deep history, Easton provides the contemporary creature comforts tourists and residents love most: unique art, great food, and plenty of stellar museums.

Barrington, Rhode Island
Senset Stroll

Sunset Stroll” by Dan Connolly is licensed under CC BY 2.0

  • Population: 15,000
  • Location: Huggin Providence River, just south of Provide, Rhode Island
  • Best Outdoor Attraction: Hundred Acre Cove
  • Best Indoor Attraction: The Blue Kangaroo Cafe
  • Best Neighborhood Food: Rhode Island Clam Chowder

If you go for a drive along Massasoit Avenue in the summertime, you’ll witness a scene straight out of a romance movie: hundreds of sailboats dotting Hundred Acres Cove, shining blue water stretching indefinitely, and a tree-lined coast containing it all together. Thanks to its hard-to-reach location along the southern reach of Rhode Island, Barrington feels like a private community, without the upturned-nose atmosphere of a gated suburb.

Most locals are boating fanatics, venturing out from the Cove into the mouth of Providence River and into the Atlantic proper. Incredible seafood restaurants, cute cafes, and top-of-the-line public school systems make Barrington a wonderful spot to visit temporarily or make home.

Burlington, Vermont
The Church Street Marketplace

Burlington Vermont - The Church Street Marketplace” by Onasill ~ Bill - OFF is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

  • Population: 44,900
  • Location: Northern Vermont, just south of the Canadian border
  • Best Outdoor Attraction: Lake Champlain
  • Best Indoor Attraction: Church Street
  • Best Neighborhood Food: Pancakes with Vermont maple syrup

Burlington represents quintessential New England: beautiful natural views, rugged outdoor activities, big-city-style nightlife, and homegrown grub. Sandwiched between Mt. Mansfield and Lake Champlain, Burlington provides easy access to ski slopes, boating lakes, and hiking trails. For a great night out, explore Church Street’s four blocks of vehicle-free shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars.

If You’re Planning to Stay, Hire a Top-rated Mover

The food, the entertainment, the sights: no matter what it is that pulls you to the Northeast, now is the perfect time to make your move.

From Easton City, Pennsylvania to York, Maine, consider hiring a professional mover to ease your next move. Moving companies can help take the mental and physical stress out of the moving process, freeing up your time and energy to explore life in your new home.

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